Over 80% of stroke patients suffer in the acute phase from motor deficits with still 30-50% in the chronic phase. SUN XR Platform can have the potential to reach a large group of stroke patients, especially in the view of more the 1.5 million strokes per year in Europe. 

Within the innovative tools of the SUN XR Platform a specific SUN VR App for Cerebral Rehab after Stroke was implemented.

The main goal of the SUN VR App is to improve motor control and learning abilities during human-machine interactions. Given the importance of feedback for the use of human-machine interfaces, SUN VR App assess the efficiency of multiple feedback strategies to increase engagement, efficiency of interactions within the platform and motor function in general.

In particular, it aims at delivering haptic, thermal and reinforcement feedback to users and determine the optimal combination of feedback for pleasant and efficient use of the SUN VR App.

Thanks to the SUN VR App, a user with significative debilitating conditions and restrictions, is able to “enter” in a virtual world representing one of its favorite’s places (daughter’s home, park) with fine details making him feel really there. Thanks to the SUN XR platform’s capabilities, his/her residual EMG activity from his/her arm muscles is translated into subtle hand and wrist gestures within this virtual realm, allowing him to navigate his environment.

As he virtually strolls down the familiar pathways, (s)he can encounter avatars controlled by his/her real-life friends and family. The EMG decoding enables the user to perform some gestures with a surprising level of fluidity, considering his physical limitations.

In addition, for improving the immersion, thermal feedback mimics the sensations of touching someone. If (s)he decides to touch someone in the VR environment, (s)he feels a warm glow similar to touching another person.

While physically (s)he’s still in his/her bed, the multisensory virtual experience allows the user a semblance of the life (s)he misses. It not only reconnects him to the places and people (s)he loves but also temporarily alleviates the psychological weight of his/her physical limitations. For those moments he’s engaged with the SUN XR platform, the user forgets (s)he’s confined to his bed; (s)he is mentally and emotionally unbound, basking in the warmth of simulated sunlight and human connection.

In the SUN VR App, the EMG system replaces the controller. In the first implemented scenario, 4 actions are mapped (going forward, backward, turn left, turn right) into the VR App.

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